Pakistan tests long-range Hatf-VI ballistic missile(Lead: Missile)

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Islamabad, Apr 19 : Pakistan successfully test fired a long-range, nuclear-capable ballistic missile on Saturday, in the first missile test carried out under a new government which assumed office last month.

The missile Hatf-VI (Shaheen-2) has a range of 2000 kilometers (1,200 miles) and can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani watched the test of the surface-to-surface missile and congratulated engineers and scientists for achieving an "important milestone in Pakistan's quest for sustaining strategic balance in South Asia".

India and Pakistan inform each other of missile tests in advance.

The military cited Gilani as saying the missile and nuclear programme enjoyed complete national consensus and would continue to be consolidated and strengthened.

A military spokesman said that Prime Minister Gilani made it clear that Pakistan's strategy of credible minimum deterrence is fully in place and is a guarantee of peace in the region.

According to the spokesman Gilani also gave an assurance that the country's defence needs would remain a high priority with the elected government.

ANI

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